Gardaí seize weapons after feud on Dublin halting site

 

Dozens of deadly weapons were seized from a Traveller halting site in west Dublin today after a family feud spiralled out of control.

Up to 40 people armed themselves threatening violence on the Oldcastle halting site in Clondalkin over lunchtime.

Slash hooks, metal bars, garden rakes, chains, sticks and pitchforks were recovered after around 50 gardaí, including the riot squad, rushed to the scene.

While there were no injuries or arrests, it is understood the stand-off lasted around an hour and a half.

Barney Joyce of the Clondalkin Travellers Development Group said gardai were now in talks with the family at the centre of the dispute.

“It’s an issue within a family that’s now been addressed and the guards are now dealing with that in an effective way and are now talking with the family,” he said.

Around 20 officers from the public order unit, dressed in full riot gear, raided the site, searching skips, caravans, abandoned and burnt out cars.

A spokesman said: “There were weapons there but when we arrived no weapons were used.” Senior gardai from the area declined to detail the exact weapons recovered.

It is understood less that 20 families live on the halting site, just off the Nangor Road.

Mr Joyce said the incident, which kicked off at around 12.30pm, had been blown out of proportion and the vast majority of Travellers involved were trying to quell tensions.

“Situations like this can be taken out of context and I would be concerned about that,” Mr Joyce said.

“I think a lot of people were trying to defuse it. From that end it might look like there was a lot of people up there but in fact there were maybe a few young people involved in it.”

The Oldcastle site has been hit by disturbances and tragedy in the past.

In 2001, a man was injured and a number of others were arrested after a late night row at the halting site, and in November 2005 two young boys were killed in a caravan fire at the encampment.

Last July a Traveller family feud erupted into a full scale riot involving around 200 people at a housing estate in Co Westmeath.

At least eight people were arrested after petrol bombs, stones, slates and bricks were hurled during the disturbance at D’Alton Park, Mullingar.

Local officers, reinforcements from surrounding areas and the Garda Air Support unit were called in to quell the fighting.

PA